The notes or comments a reader scribbles next to a passage in a book, in an effort to illuminate or make sense of what is written, is often referred to as “marginalia.” Those annotations unwittingly change, forever, the content of that book. They add another layer to it’s meaning. Wendy Wainwright, a Bachelors of Fine Arts student at Austin Peay State University, recently posed the question, “What is the marginalia of the mind?”
“I appear to be present in the here and now,” she said, “but really I live in my imagination, a parallel universe that is both absurd and romantic, where anthromorphism runs rampant – an entirely separate world, an existence all my own.”
Wainwright will explore this idea with a new exhibit of her artwork, “Marginalia,” which opens with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. on April 18, in the Trahern Student Gallery. The show runs through April 22, and is free and open to the public.
“I live in this world trapped, confined and claustrophobic in the spaces created by those before me and surrounded by the absurdities that have manifested themselves in the name of civilization,” she said. “I cannot leave, but I can be amused.”
Wainwright’s work is inspired by her imagination and expressed freely and originally through a blend of styles encompassing folk art, impressionism, sophisticated graphic art, whimsical gothic elements and touches of surrealism.
“All of my images begin with a commonplace foundation – a room, a building, a public space,” she said. “We spend our entire lives in these spaces and most of us do not question how they came into being, nor do we necessarily appreciate neither the enduring qualities of structures, nor the strange absurdities of civilization. For an example I suggest houseplants – no sooner had we built walls to separate ourselves from nature than did we bring nature indoors to be enjoyed on our own terms.”